Peter Jackson has come a long way since his 1987 debut Bad Taste, a shoestring-budget splatter film shot in his native New Zealand that went on to earn a cult following. Yet there’s something of that film’s inventive and playful spirit in almost everything he’s done since, be it bawdy puppets (1989’s Meet the Feebles), killer teens (1994’s Heavenly Creatures) or ice-skating apes (2005’s King Kong). The Lord of the Rings trilogy made him a household name and earned him Oscar acclaim, while he’s currently producing the long-awated prequel, The Hobbit, with Guillermo del Toro directing. As Jackson’s latest, the murder-thriller-fantasy The Lovely Bones, arrives in cinemas, we caught up with him and asked him to name his all-time favorite films. He happily obliged. “My five favourite films of all time,” Jackson pondered. “For different reasons, they would be… “
Several films by Martin Scorsese — I’m a huge fan of his — but at the top I would say Goodfellas, probably, as my favorite Scorsese film. That’s a movie that I always see when I feel that my imagination is kind of stuck and trapped, and I can’t think of a way forward. I watch Goodfellas and suddenly it frees me up entirely; it reminds me of what great film directing is all about.
The fifth movie, I would say… let me see… I would have to say it would probably be Jaws, ’cause I think that Jaws… it’s the height of suspense for filmmaking, it was the start of the summer blockbuster, it was the beginning of an entire genre of filmmaking and obviously the beginning, in some respects, of Steven Spielberg’s career. I think Jaws is a remarkable film.
Those are the five today. You ask me tomorrow and I might change of few of them. [laughs]